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No hoverboards, but Chrono Trigger is an excellent time travelling adventure!

An RPG released originally on the SNES back in the nine-five, Crono Trigger has become a classic and fan favourite, and in my opinion, one of the best RPGs ever. With an intriguing story taking 30+ hours to complete, side quests, excellent character development, and multiple endings, this game was truly ahead of its time, and still competes with the RPGs of today for your hard earned time and money.

In a story that feels like it could be an entire season of the BBC Sci-Fi show Doctor Who, Crono travels through time on a rescue mission. Marle (who is really Princess Nadia in disguise) is accidently flung through time when she tries out Lucca’s teleportation device at the Millennial Fair, and Crono springs into action, following her through a “time gate”.  Quest after quest, more and more “time gates” are opened, and slowly but surely, the real story is revealed, and the real challenge is presented – save the world! Because, you know, no game has ever had that plot before… Without spoiling too much, I will say that it adds some interesting plot twists here and there that you don’t often find in games anymore. It really does keep you compelled, and like me, I’m sure you’ll be saying “just one more dungeon before bed” more than once.

The music in the game is just as moving as the scores from the SNES Final Fantasy games, and it adds to the game an atmosphere that I find nearly impossible to replicate in games nowadays. Partly scored by Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy Fame, and Yasunori Mitsuda who did scores for Secret of Mana and Romancing Saga II, the music in this game is the right mix of melodic and energetic, giving the right amount of intensity to the scenes needed.

The battle control system also borrows from Final Fantasy, using the Active Time Battle system, giving time bars to your party and the enemies (albeit invisible on foes), meaning the faster characters get a chance to attack first, rather than everything just being turn based like in the games predating Chrono Trigger. What set this game’s battles apart from others was the use of combos. When two party members had learned the correct “techniques”, they could combine them and perform a “dual tech”, as long as their time gage was full, as well as having enough MP. These “dual techs” would hit for big damage, and would sometimes even combine some of the 4 elements associated with the characters: fire, water, light and darkness. These techniques, both single and dual, could hit 1 enemy, all of them, or perform and AoE, or Area of Effect attack. This provides a great deal of depth and strategy in how to fight each battle, and even more so when fighting bosses.

The graphics of this game may look a little dated now, but they were pretty impressive back in the day (except for the prehistoric era – its over world looks like hot garbage). The sprites are well detailed, the colours are lush, and there’s a lot going on in the screen, whether you notice it or not. Some battles have to turn off the fog filter from the dungeon because there’s too many things to process while you use a technique in battle.

As I said before, this game originally dropped for the SNES back in the ’95, but it came out on the OG PS with Final Fantasy IV as a collection in ’99. Since then, it’s also released on the DS (which is what I’ve been playing), PSN so you can download it onto a PS3, the Wii’s virtual console, and also iOS and Android operating systems. So do yourself a favour and pick up this game. It is very much worth it.

 

Biographical Information obtained from http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Chrono_Trigger_Credits.html

Boxart obtained from http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/Chrono_Trigger

Resident of the middle of nowhere in Ontario Canada. The first game I ever played was Tetris on the OG GameBoy back in 91. I own a 360, PS3, PS2, PS1, PSP, DS, GBA, and the original GameBoy I got for xmas when I was but a wee lad. Love dungeon crawlers and RPGs, and I play a bit of CoD from time to time. Find me on XBL at CaptainSteve0 or PSN as capnsteve0. Also twitter @CaptainSteve0

4 comments

  1. Dylan says:

    I honestly haven’t even had a chance to play it. I was big into final fantasy growing up, but never made the jump. This totally piqued my interest though, and I feel like I missed a classic. Time to open my PSN wallet and grab it!

    • Captain Steve0 says:

      It’s totally worth it. If you get through that, you might wanna look into the sequel, Chrono Cross. Came out on PS1 in….i think 2000. Also a solid game with an interesting battle system =)

      • Dylan says:

        I remember watching my brother play chrono cross when I was a kid but back then all I felt was that final fantasy was better, since it was one of my favourites back then I felt a kind of brand loyalty. It was stupid and by the sounds of it I’ve been missing a great series.

  2. ChR0n1k says:

    I have never actually played this game either, but have seen it mentioned everywhere.

    I have FF Chronicles or whatever it’s called with this game and another FF title, so I can definitely give it a try soon.

    I would love to grab the OG cart for this game but the prices online are pretty nuts. I hope it turns up in a thrift store lot soon…

    Also the Chrono Cross game on PSX has one of the best soundtracks on that system. so epic

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